A blog for the enterprise open source community
If a Linux interoperability deal is done in a forest, and no one is around to witness it, does it really exist?Matthew Aslett, May 12, 2008 @ 10:04 am ET
I wrote last week about how the conservatism of many senior IT executives is a significant barrier to widespread open source adoption. A recent post from Richard Steel, CIO of the London borough of Newham, is a reminder that the machinations of the open source software world are not as engrossing as some supporters might consider them to be.
During a visit to the KommITS conference in Sweden, Richard discovered the following information: “I note that Novell has a local arrangement with Microsoft, which resells its version of Suse Linux to enable Linux exploitation on a Windows platform!” The exclamation mark is his own, and suggests genuine surprise at hearing the news of Microsoft and Novell’s entanglement.
It would be easy to suggest that any CIO must have had their head in the sand not to have been aware of a small agreement that Microsoft and Novell entered into a little while ago, but also I think one also has to accept that for a great number of senior IT executives this sort of information just isn’t as fascinating as open source followers think it is.
Open source software vendors would do well to recognize this if they are to convince the unconvinced that open source is a viable alternative to the status quo.
Conspiracy theory alert: Newham is one of Microsoft’s flagship local government accounts in the UK following its controversial decision to sign a ten-year agreement with Microsoft after ditching plans to move to an open source environment. Clearly, Newham has less reason then to be interested in Linux and Microsoft’s relationship with Novell than other organizations (it also explains why Microsoft’s SLES voucher-wielding sales team hasn’t been breaking down the door).
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